Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Jim Sorbie/Flickr

Tuesday evening there was an historic vote in Congress for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The U.S. House voted to create the park’s first-ever formal wilderness plan. The bill now awaits the president’s signature.

U.S. House To Vote On Sleeping Bear Wilderness

Mar 3, 2014
Jim Sorbie/Flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today (Monday) on a plan to designate 32,500 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness.

The move comes after more than a decade of debate both in northern Michigan and in Washington.

Under the legislation there are specific protections for hunting and fishing. Congressman Dan Benishek says the bill also ensures natural features will be protected, along with county roads, access to the water and historic structures. 

Peter Payette

A plan to designate large portions of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness could move forward today in Congress. It’s been five years since the plan was first proposed. It would designate 32,000 acres, more than 40 percent, of Sleeping Bear as wilderness.

Deputy Superintendent Tom Ulrich says that wouldn’t change much in the daily operation of the park, since those areas are already treated as wilderness. It would put the land off limits to future development.

Dead Fish Good Sign For Anglers, Not Swimmers

Jul 17, 2013

Just in time for peak travel season dead fish have been washing ashore on parts of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Kevin Skerl, the chief of natural resources at the lakeshore, says it’s not a big concern.

“This is something that happens every year. It’s just a question of if the conditions are such that the dead fish are showing up on beaches where people are,” says Skerl

Looking Back At The Fight For Sleeping Bear

Jun 19, 2013

As we celebrate 50 years on the air, IPR is looking back at stories and events that made a significant and lasting difference for life Up North.

In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to create a national lakeshore at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It protects in perpetuity a place that many consider a gem --not just for the Great Lakes -- but for the whole country.

But it was a bitter battle that lasted nearly a decade. Eventually people in the area accepted a role for government in protecting the environment.

Idea for a Lakeshore Park

Great Lakes Drownings Top 100 in 2012

Jan 7, 2013

More than 100 people drown in the Great Lakes last year and half of them were in Lake Michigan. That’s according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Spokesman Dave Benjamin says one explanation for so many deaths in Lake Michigan is the lake is so long, 320 miles. Most of the wind comes out of the north or the south.